Which Minnesota Tech Startups Are Leveraging Angel Tax Credits?


Minnesota Angel Investor Tax CreditThe jobs bill — aka angel investor tax credit — was created earlier this year to stimulate startup growth in Minnesota by financially incentivising angels with a 25% income tax discount on qualifying early-stage business investments.

The measure appears to be ramping up before the close of the year when the clock resets and everyone is forced to re-qualify for 2011.

Passed into law on April 1, 2010, the  bill allocates $60m in deductions over the next 5 years with $11m in available in 2010 & $12m/yr for 2011-2014. Both the investor(s) and the business must be certified through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) prior to credit issuancewhich brings us to the goodstuff.

According to DEED reports through 11/8, nineteen different cross-sector ventures  have seized the opportunity to raise a collective $10m in funding under the legislation,  awarding investors $2.5m in tax credits.  Since the focus of our interests lies within the realm of High Tech/IT/SaaS/etc., here’s what we’ve picked up on:

Adestinn – $1m in funding / $250k investor tax credit

Adestinn Web-based Adestinn is a corporate benefit program where employers help fund employee vacations by payroll deductions. Employees set aside money for their vacation travel and receive at least a $.50 employer-sponsored match for each $1 they contribute into their Adestinn Vacation Savings Account. The technology serves to match travelers with “the most desired locations for the ultimate collection of beach, mountain, urban, and leisure destinations.”

Itizen – $100k in funding / $25,000 investor tax credit

Itizen Itizen is an online service that provides a way to tell, share, and follow the “life stories” of unique and meaningful objects. Users place Itizen TRACKit Tags on anything that has an intriguing story. Alphanumeric and QR codes on the tags connect the physical objects to their user-generated online stories that are co-authored by the people who make them, the people who own them, or anyone connected to them.

Echobit – $95k in funding / $23,750 investor tax credit

Echobit involves two platform technologies — LAN Bridger and Evolve. LAN Bridger is described as “an easy-to-use VPN tool, in that it lets you be a part of the same local computer network at your job, on the road, or anywhere in the world.”

The second product, Evolve, was created to “fix the frustratingly fragmented experience of online PC gaming and sets out to change this trend with a platform that’s as open to players as it is to developers.”

Minneapolis Biomass Exchange – $50k in funding/$12,500 investor credit.

MBioEx has developed a software which has developed an online exchange for animal bedding, livestock feed, renewable energy, and the biopharma markets. Biomass feedstocks such as corn cobs/stover, dedicated energy crops, hays/alfalfa, wheat straw and wood chips/ residues can be sold through MBioEX’s proprietary platform.

All of these startups are still in beta, with some more stealth than others. Others potential tech companies on the 11/8 DEED report may include: HSIO Technologies, 3D Software and Systems and DealCurious.

More to come…


  • Justin

    I love the credit in theory, but as CEO of a local, angel funded tech company, I have been very frustrated by some of the fine print provisions, which ultimately prevented us from qualifying for the credit.

    I think that the minimum wage requirement for all employees is especially restricting, as is the total employee count. Both of which punish companies who have been able to affordably grow a work force of younger employees…employees who, I would argue, benefit from our hiring more then any other group, as it gets them out of mom and dad's house and into the work force learning valuable high tech skills.